Whether you own a business or run a passion project, having a website is a must.
If you’re looking for inspiration for all the different types of websites out there, you’re in the right place.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular types of websites, from business websites to personal portfolios and everything else in between.
As the cherry on the cake, all the different types of websites are accompanied by some notable examples to get you inspired.
The main types of websites
Having a website is only useful if it aligns with your goals. To avoid choosing the wrong type, here’s a quick overview of the 13 most popular types of websites on the internet:
- Business — provides insights into a company to influence people’s buying decisions.
- eCommerce — facilitates online transactions.
- Personal blog — shares your opinions and experiences with other users.
- News media — informs people of the latest events and how they affect the public.
- Portfolio website — showcases your past work as a testament to their expertise.
- eLearning — improves users’ learning experience inside and outside the classroom.
- Web portal — allows internal communication within a closed circle.
- Entertainment — entertains visitors with enjoyable content.
- Forums — provides space for meaningful discussions among users globally.
- Non-profit websites — make it easy to collect donations and advocate for charitable causes.
- Wikis — build a community encyclopedia around a niche.
- Infopreneur — monetize your expertise and sell information.
- Brochure website — a simple way to have an online presence for your business.
A business website aims to influence people’s buying decisions and establish the company’s credibility within the industry.
Unlike eCommerce websites that generate direct revenue, business websites contribute to the long-term growth of the business instead.
In representing your company online, a business website must reflect your brand. Adding your brand logo along with a matching color palette for web design is a good start.
You want visitors to recognize and memorize your brand the moment they enter the website.
Feature-wise, the website should be able to answer customers’ inquiries about the business, including but not limited to its operations and products.
The key features you ought to include are product descriptions, pricing plans, testimonials, and contact details. Think carefully about what else customers might want to know.
An eCommerce website is kitted out to allow online transactions for customers to buy your products and services.
Having similar business models to brick-and-mortar stores, this type of website allows people to conduct the entire purchase process online.
With researchers predicting an increase in global eCommerce sales this year, eCommerce remains a promising way to establish a business.
For best performance, eCommerce websites must-have features capable of supporting online transactions.
Several key features include:
- User-friendly web navigation
- Adequate filter and search functions
- A well-functioning checkout system
To further boost sales, you may also consider adding call-to-action buttons and email marketing integration to your eCommerce store.
Design-wise, an eCommerce website should look appealing and encourage visitors to make a purchase on the platform. For that, it needs compelling and responsive web design.
This type of website is great for entrepreneurs who want to expand their market or reduce production and operating costs.
Top eCommerce platforms make it easy to promote and integrate your eCommerce website to social media platforms, too.
From selling physical goods and digital products to promoting online services, an eCommerce website can take your business to a whole new level.
3. Personal blog
Personal blogs are places for sharing individual opinions and news online.
It’s ideal for publishing personal experiences and hobby-related content, as well as communicating with other users who have similar interests.
Blogs like WishWishWish, for example, gain a massive following by sharing the owner’s everyday life and fashion tips.
Meanwhile, professionals like Seth Godin write blogs to build a personal brand and online credibility.
Many bloggers even use this type of website to sell promotional products and branded merchandise.
In short, a personal website can be anything and everything you want.
Blogs generally have a structure consisting of a header, the main content area, a sidebar, and a footer.
The more quality content you publish, the higher your chance of climbing the organic search results will be. You could even use it to generate a stream of income.
4. News media
News and media websites focus on delivering up-to-date information about the latest world events to the public. They use both textual and visual content.
In the past decade, many traditional news organizations went online due to financial and audience pressures.
If you’re thinking about starting a news business, consider opting for the same decision.
With a news and media website, you get to publish as many articles as you want without being hindered by the high production and distribution costs.
Plus, it allows you to reach readers across the world.
- Unlike other types of websites, news sites generally use a multi-column web layout for their landing page.
- The posts’ meta descriptions are displayed upfront with relevant visual media as the cover shot to encourage clicks.
- Besides producing high-quality content, a news website must offer a great reading experience.
Your website must incorporate clean fonts with proportional sizes and an easy-on-the-eyes color palette.
5. Online portfolio
Portfolio websites showcase the skills and previous projects of professionals who monetize their skills and are on the hunt for employment.
For freelancers and independent contractors, a portfolio website can serve as a visual CV to attract prospective clients and employers.
When creating a portfolio website, it’s best to include testimonials from former clients and employers to show your skills and expertise.
Don’t forget to link to your social media accounts: this way future clients and recruiters can get a fuller idea of your personality, and get in touch with you easier.
Education or eLearning websites serve as the portal for online courses. They aim to enhance people’s learning experiences — both inside and outside the classroom.
For educators or professionals who want to share their knowledge with other people, having an education website is an effective and relatively cheap way to do so.
The courses can take various forms like videos, podcasts, and interactive games. You may even launch certification programs and monetize them for income.
If you focus on more than one subject, it’s best to divide the courses into categories for better accessibility. Adding a search feature can also help users looking to improve specific skills.
From a design point of view, a learning website should be easy to navigate and be easy to read. The goal is to provide a place conducive to learning.
7. Web portal
The key features of a web portal depend on the organization that runs it.
Regardless of its purpose, the website must feature user-friendly design, and accommodate information distribution as well as internal communication.
For companies and organizations, a web portal is useful for distributing work-related information among employees in the most efficient way.
Meanwhile, universities like Harvard and Stanford use web portals to facilitate communication between students and teaching staff and provide easy access to academic information.
True to its name, this type of website produces content for entertainment purposes. The subjects may revolve around celebrity news, movies, or funny images — anything that people find entertaining.
If you have plenty of ideas for how to amuse people, consider creating an entertainment website to channel your inner entertainer. The sky is your limit.
9. Online forum
Forums are used to connect users with similar interests via discussion boards. People from around the world can easily jump into an open discussion and share their thoughts.
The topics of conversation are generally divided into categories. Forums then archive the messages under their respective threads.
In forums, people can have a conversation without being hindered by the technicalities behind it.
The Internet has helped many charities and non-profit organizations to widen their reach.
Similarly to businesses, non-profits benefit from having a website and a social media presence.
While there are many different types of charities out there, they all need a platform to promote their cause and connect with potential donors.
Good non-profit websites provide in-depth information about the problems at hand and offer many ways for individuals and businesses to get involved.
This could mean signing petitions, joining demonstrations, or donating money.
Since trustworthiness is important for all charities, a website is a good place to build that trust. Make sure the web design reflects the overall mission and values of the charity.
Wikis are the internet equivalent of encyclopedias and you can create a wiki website for almost any niche out there.
You’re probably familiar with wiki websites like Wikipedia.
While the overall web design is usually simple, you should pay close attention to good search functionality.
Another fundamental feature of wiki websites is their collaborative nature. Since wikis are usually based on different niches, like movie franchises or video games, the community expects to join in.
But this makes it easier for you since you won’t have to be the sole contributor.
What are the websites in-between eCommerce and business websites?
Infopreneur websites, of course. These types of websites focus on selling digital information in the form of tutorials, webinars, eBooks, and videos.
For this type of website to succeed, you need to be willing to put in the work and build a successful and well-known brand.
Many infopreneurs leverage their professional expertise and experience in a particular field.
For example, a digital marketing wizard could create courses on the basics of SEO and email marketing.
Blogging and a strong content marketing strategy are great tools for infopreneurs to gain traffic to their website.
13. Brochure website
While the brochure website might have seen its heyday, these types of websites were popular during the dawn of the internet.
Brochure websites are essentially an online version of a business brochure or a flyer.
They offer the visitor a good overview of the business, its services, and contact details.
From a web design perspective, these types of websites are simple to set up.
At the very least, you need a home page, a contact page, and a product or service page.
Remember to feature prominent call-to-actions across these types of websites. Include a phone number and an email address, or a visiting address if you have a physical location.
Why do you need a website?
Still not convinced? Here are the five most significant reasons why you should have a website.
With 4.54 billion people accessing the internet, there’s a good chance that new users discover your website each day — particularly if you manage to climb the search rankings.
Not only does exposure expand your reachability, but it may also increase your brand awareness in the most cost-effective way
A website allows 24/7 access to your content. People can quickly obtain the information they need from you anytime they want.
Not just that, but they’re also able to do it without having to meet you in person.
All users have the same ability to access the website and its information regardless of their location.
Builds your image and credibility
Having a website is an effective and affordable way to establish an online presence and authority in your niche industry.
It’s easier to leave a positive impression on others — further benefiting your branding.
Lets you stay on top of trends
Managing a website requires you to produce fresh content and up-to-date information. To do so, you must stay on top of the industry’s latest innovations and the market’s demands.
This can not only directly benefit the growth of your website, but also keep you on your toes regarding changes that may affect your brand.
By knowing the challenges ahead, you get to better prepare yourself for success.
How to build a website
Starting a website doesn’t require lots of coding or web design experience nowadays.
With the right tools, it takes just a few minutes to get most types of websites up and running.
Website builders are a popular and fast way to build your first website:
- Select a website template that resonates with you and your business.
- Customize the template to include all the important information the visitor would need.
- Publish your website and start marketing it all around the internet.